Basketball: Cal signee Jordan Mathews, Santa Monica chase Southern California title

Phil Mathews has two important basketball games on his schedule today.

The former USF head coach is an assistant for Ben Howland at UCLA, which plays in tonight’s Pac-12 tournament championship game against Oregon.

In the meantime, Mathews is hoping to find a TV in Las Vegas that will show his son Jordan’s CIF Southern California Division I high school championship game.

Jordan Mathews, one of four players in Cal’s excellent 2013 recruiting class, leads Santa Monica against Loyola-Los Angeles at 4 p.m. today in Ontario, with a spot in the state championship game on the line.

The Vikings (28-6) faced Loyola (25-7) twice in December, losing 68-62 and 83-82.

A 6-foot-3 shooting guard, Mathews averages 24.8 points and has had games of 37 and 41 points during the three-game run into the SoCal title game. He was named MVP of the Ocean League for the second straight season.

“He’s had a great senior year,” Phil Mathews said.

“He can score. He’s going to have to improve defensively, like most high school kids,” his dad continued. “He scores in a variety of ways — he’s not just a 3-point shooter. He’ll take you off the dribble, he’s got a mid-range game.

“He’s going to be a better college player once he gets up there with Mike’s system.”

Cal coach Mike Montgomery also has five-star Salesian HS shooting guard Jabari Bird, Mission Hills-San Diego center Kameron Rooks and Ransom Everglades-Miami point guard Sam Singer arriving in the fall.

Mathews watched his son’s team beat Rooks and Mission Hills in a Southern Cal semifinal game last week. The 7-foot son of former Arizona star Sean Rooks had 19 points and 17 rebounds against Santa Monica.

“Rooks is going to be a player,” Mathews said. “He’s a project right now, but he’s got a nice touch. Cal will put him on a weight program and watch his diet and work with him.”


Jeff Faraudo